Thirty-one writers, including Teju Cole, Maggie Nelson, and Luc Sante, have signed an open letter asking President Obama to pardon Edward Snowden. “By pardoning Snowden and permitting him to return free to the country he loves, your administration would be sending a message to the future,” they write: “that America remains committed to democratic accountability, and that tomorrow’s innovations will not be allowed to bend or bow the Constitution, but will, instead, be made to conform to it, and to reinforce the rights that it bestows.”
It Can’t Happen Here, Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 novel about facism in the US, has sold out on Amazon since the election.
At the New York Times Magazine, Emily Bazelon reflects on Trump’s use of libel law as a tool for revenge, and what the media might be up against during his presidency. “Once installed in the White House, Trump will have a wider array of tools at his disposal, and his record suggests that, more than his predecessors, he will try to use the press — and also control and subdue it,” Bazelon writes.
After cancelling in a series of tweets, Donald Trump eventually held meetings at the New York Times yesterday, first off the record with publisher Arthur Sulzberger, and later on the record with a group of reporters, editors, and columnists. Trump walked back on a few of his campaign promises, saying that he would not be prosecuting Hillary Clinton and would consider continuing to abide by the Paris climate accord, but did state that “he had no obligation to establish boundaries between his business empire and his White House.”
Politico’s national editor Michael Hirsch resigned yesterday after he posted the address of Richard Spencer, a white nationalist, to Facebook and told readers to “exercise your rights as decent Americans.” Editor-in-chief John Harris and editor Carrie Budoff Brown said in a statement that his post was “clearly outside the bounds of acceptable discourse.”